Sylvania City School District
Bylaws & Policies
 

5517.01 - HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION, AND BULLYING

Harassment, intimidation, or bullying toward a student, whether by other students, staff, or third parties is strictly prohibited. This policy applies to all activities in the District, including activities on school property, on a school bus, or while enroute to or from school, and at school-sponsored events.

Students who have been determined to have engaged in prohibited behaviors are subject to disciplinary action, which may include suspension or expulsion from school. The Districtís commitment to addressing such prohibited behaviors, however, involves a multifaceted approach, which includes education and the promotion of a school atmosphere in which harassment, intimidation, or bullying by students, faculty, or school personnel is strictly prohibited.

Harassment, intimidation, or bullying means:

 A.any intentional written, verbal, electronic, or physical act that a student exhibits toward another particular student more than once, and the behavior both (1) causes mental or physical harm to the other student and (2) is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for the other student; or

 B.violence within a dating relationship.

"Electronic act" means an act committed through the use of a cellular telephone, computer, pager, personal communication device, or other electronic communication device.

School personnel should intervene whenever they observe student conduct that has the purpose or effect of ridiculing, humiliating, or intimidating another student/school personnel, even if such conduct does not meet the formal definition of "harassment, intimidation, or bullying."

In evaluating whether conduct constitutes harassment, intimidation, or bullying, special attention should be paid to the words chosen or the actions taken, whether such conduct occurred in front of others or was communicated to others, how the perpetrator interacted with the victim, and the motivation, either admitted or appropriately inferred.

Any student or student's parent/guardian who believes s/he has been or is the victim of harassment, intimidation, or bullying behavior may report the situation to any school staff member or administrator. Reports may be formal (written) or informal (verbal), and should be reasonably specific, including person(s) involved; number of times and places of the alleged conduct; the target of suspected harassment, intimidation, and/or bullying; and the names of any potential student or staff witnesses.

Deliberately making false reports about harassment, intimidation, or bullying is strictly prohibited. Deliberately making false reports may result in disciplinary action.

Teachers and other school staff who witness or receive student or parent reports of suspected harassment, intimidation, or bullying shall notify the building principal and/or his/her designee of such report(s). If the report is a formal, written, complaint, the teacher must forward the complaint (no later than the next school day) to the building principal or his/her designee. If the report is an informal, verbal, complaint received by a teacher or other professional employee, the teacher or professional employee shall prepare a written report of the informal complaint, which shall be forwarded no later than the next school day to the building principal or his/her designee.

All complaints about harassment, intimidation, or bullying that may violate this Policy shall be investigated by the appropriate administrator. The appropriate administrator shall prepare a written report of the investigation upon completion. Such report shall include findings of fact, a determination of whether acts of harassment, intimidation, and/or bullying were verified, and, when prohibited acts are verified, a recommendation for intervention, including disciplinary action. Where appropriate, written witness statements shall be attached to the report.

Notwithstanding the above paragraph, when an individual making an informal, verbal, complaint has requested anonymity, the investigation of such complaint shall be limited as is appropriate in view of the anonymity of the complaint. Such limitation of investigation may include restricting action to a simple review of the complaint subject to receipt of further information and/or the withdrawal by the complaining student of the condition that his/her report be anonymous.

If the investigation finds an instance of harassment, intimidation, and/or bullying has occurred, it will result in appropriate remedial and/or disciplinary action. This may include penalties as severe as suspension or expulsion for students. Individuals may also be referred to law enforcement officials. School administrators may also impose lesser disciplinary measures or non-disciplinary interventions such as counseling or mediation.

Retaliation against any person who reports, is thought to have reported, files a complaint, or otherwise participates in an investigation or inquiry concerning allegations of harassment, intimidation, and/or bullying is prohibited and shall be considered a serious violation of Board policy regardless of whether a complaint is substantiated. Suspected retaliation should be reported in the same manner as harassment, intimidation, and bullying. Retaliation may result in disciplinary action.

The complainant shall be notified of the findings of the investigation, and as appropriate, that remedial action has been taken. If after investigation, acts of bullying against a specific student are verified, the appropriate administrator shall notify the custodial parent/guardian of the victim and the custodial parent or guardian of the perpetrator of the investigations finding. In providing notification care shall be taken to respect the statutory privacy rights of the perpetrator.

District administrators shall semiannually provide the president of the Board a written summary of all reported incidents and post the summary of the Districtís website. The list shall be limited to the number of verified acts of harassment, intimidation, and bullying, whether in the classroom, on school property, to and from school, or at school-sponsored events.

Notice of this policy will be annually incorporated into the student handbooks. At least once each school year a written statement describing the policy and consequences for violations of the policy shall be sent to each student's custodial parent or guardian.

The Superintendent or designee shall provide appropriate training to all members of the School District community related to the implementation of this policy. In accordance with Board Policy 8462, the Superintendent shall include a review of this policy on bullying and other forms of harassment in the required training in the prevention of child abuse, violence, and substance abuse and the promotion of positive youth development.

R.C. 3313.666, 3313.667
State Board of Education Model Policy (2007)

Adopted 1/26/04
Revised 2/11/08
Revised 6/14/10
Revised 2/25/13
Revised 12/16/13
Revised 2/27/17

© Neola 2013